The Wise will understand this Parable:
Parable of the Wedding Feast - Matthew 22:1-14
2"The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. 3He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come. 4"Then he sent some more servants and said, `Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.' 5"But they paid no attention and went off--one to his field, another to his business. 6The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. 7The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.
8"Then he said to his servants, `The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. 9Go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.' 10So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad, and the wedding hall was filled with guests. 11"But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 12`Friend,' he asked, `how did you get in here without wedding clothes?' The man was speechless. 13"Then the king told the attendants, `Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' 14"For many are invited, but few are chosen."
In this Parable:
1. The King = God the Father
2. The Son = God the Son, Jesus Christ
3. The first group that was invited = The Israelites who declined
4. The second group that was invited = The Gentiles and those Jews who accepted
5. The servants = those who preach the Gospel of Christ’s salvation
Explanation of the Parable:
God's chosen people, the Jews, were the first to receive the invitation to receive their Savior Jesus Christ, the Son of God whom they rejected. The Wedding / Gospel invitation was then given to others (the gentiles - note Romans 1:16, etc.). In short, everyone had received an invitation, but not everyone accepted the invitation.
Note that the Book of Revelation describes a future marriage of the Lamb (Jesus - John 1:29) and His Bride (Revelation 19:7).
The guest who was not arrayed in the proper wedding attire was one who had declined God’s gift of salvation and righteousness - a robe of righteousness that comes not from man, but from Christ/God only:
Isaiah 61:10, “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.”
Note that in Genesis 15:6, this righteousness comes through faith in God: “Abram believed (had faith in) the Lord, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” Also note Ephesians 2:8-9 in the New Testament.
Believers are covered with God’s garment of righteousness / salvation. When God looks at the repentant sinner He does not see the filthy attire of sin, but the robe of righteousness obtained by Christ's perfect obedience to the law. There are none righteous apart from this God-given righteousness. A perfect example that this righteousness is not obtained by man’s own inherent “goodness” is found in Zechariah chapter 3:
3 Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. 4 The angel said to those who were standing before him, "Take off his filthy clothes." Then he said to Joshua, "See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put rich garments on you."
Filthy clothes = sin in the above scripture, while a robe of righteousness = a garment of salvation in Isaiah 61:10.
From the New Testament we find:
Romans 13:14 - “Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ...”
Philippians 3:9 - “..not having a righteousness of my own that comes from (keeping ) the law, but that which is through faith in Christ...”
Also note that in Matthew 22:10 - “...the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.”
Here we see the illustration of those gathered off the streets - people who may well have not been able to afford special wedding garments on such short notice. Also note that those gathered were both “good and bad,” so that the invitation was not based on works alone, otherwise just the “good” would have been invited. So the wedding garments - the garments of salvation - were God’s gift to those who accepted the invitation to the Son’s (Christ’s) wedding to his bride - his church of true believers.
In the end, those without the God / Christ-given robe of righteousness / salvation were cast into the outer darkness, where there is weeping and the gnashing of teeth.
“For many are invited, but few are chosen.” Matthew 22:14
How to be Saved in Jesus (Includes a prayer of salvation):
Getting Saved By Jesus
Beware of what lies ahead if you keep rejecting Jesus Christ.
You are not guaranteed tomorrow. Time is running out.